Martinsville on the Move was organized in 2009 by a group of community residents who are passionate about Martinsville and its future. Their vision for the community is that it would be a place where people will want to move, start businesses, and make it their home.
In February, 2012, Martinsville on the Move co-sponsored a MAPPING process in conjunction with Western Illinois University. Through this process the Festivals & Events Action Team was formed.
The Team decided their primary goal would be to provide opportunities for enrichment and entertainment for residents through festivals, concerts, plays, and educational programs which would not only provide entertainment, and education for the community and surrounding residents, but would help to increase tourism to the community thereby contributing to economic growth.
The Festivals & Events Action Team determined there were no facilities available in Martinsville to do what they envisioned, so when the Linn Charitable Foundation gave the Linn property to the City of Martinsville as an addition to the small City Park, the Festivals & Events Team approached the City with the idea that Martinsville on the Move would raise the funds and build an Amphitheater on the property at no cost to the City. The City Council enthusiastically embraced this idea.
The City agreed to remove the existing buildings on the Linn property so that constructions plans for the Amphitheater could proceed. The uses of an amphitheater and what the facility would look like to best accommodate those who were using it were discussed. It was decided a stage with dimensions of approximately 40x30 would be optimal, and a storage/dressing room with a restroom for artists would be of great benefit.
Discussion with a builder produced a plan for the Amphitheater that was then approved by an architect to be certain it met code and an engraved brick fundraiser was begun. Grants were applied for, and businesses and individuals were invited to invest in Martinsville's future through donations to the building fund. The plan was to pay for the construction in stages as funds became available but as each stage was finished funds were available for the next stage so construction continued uninterrupted except by weather. The foundations were dug on March 21, 2014. All projects relating to construction, including the painting of the existing red garage which stands nearby--one bay of which is used as a concessions stand--were completed in September, 2014. The Festivals & Events Team began scheduling events with Celebrate Fall on October 17, 2014.
Through the engraved brick fundraiser, grants, and other donations over $140,000 was raised which was used for construction of the Amphitheater, brick purchases and engraving, new water hydrants & electrical hook-ups for Linn Park, and printing for advertising.
The bricks will be laid in a path from Vine Street to the north door of the Amphitheater and a garden will be developed around them.
The goal for the first summer of use is to schedule at least two events per month. We are approaching that goal. See the schedule on the Home page.